State of emergency victims in Turkey earn less than $150 a month: report

Mehtap Yörük, a teacher who was dismissed as part of a government purge, has now been selling rice and chickpea.

A report released by the Society of Justice for Victims has revealed that the average monthly income of some one and a half million victims of a 2016-2018 state of emergency in Turkey is estimated to be below TL 800 ($150), Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported on Monday.

Aimed at drawing attention to the injustices suffered by individuals due to the grave measures taken during the state of emergency, declared following a 2016 failed coup attempt, the report is the result of surveys conducted between August and September 2018 on 3,776 people affected by the state of emergency.

The report concluded that the victims earn on average less than $150 a month, while their monthly income was around TL 3,500 (at exchange rates in effect at the time) prior to the coup attempt.

The proportion of victims who have college or higher academic degrees is 98.7 percent, much higher than the national average of 17 percent. Moreover, 25 percent have master’s degrees or doctorates.

Pointing out the risk of another loss of human potential for the country, the report revealed that 83.9 percent of respondents confirmed their desire to move to another country if given the opportunity.

After declaring the state of emergency following the failed coup attempt of July 2016, the Turkish government dismissed some 125,800 public officials through decrees and the judiciary took legal action against some 446,000 individuals.

More than 100.000 investigations and 48,000 cases are still ongoing, while over 33,000 individuals are imprisoned over their real or perceived links to the Gülen movement or for allegedly taking part in the attempted coup. Some 700 infants are among those held in jail with their mothers.

The report estimates that more than a quarter of a million Turkish citizens were directly affected by the state of emergency measures, while more than a million and a half suffered indirectly due to damages inflicted on their family members.

Also revealed by the report is the fact that 99.64 percent of those who were dismissed from their jobs were subject to an administrative or criminal investigation for the first time in their lives during the post-coup period.

The dismissed civil servants are doomed to poverty through travel bans and work restrictions, reminiscent of the hate crimes committed against Jews in Nazi Germany, according to the report.

“Whereas normally the claimant is required to prove wrongdoing on the part of the suspect, the victims are asked to prove their innocence in this process,” the report said.

Eighty-six percent of participants confirmed that prison wards are filled to three times capacity. Forty-six percent report heating problems in the winter.

Thirty-seven percent of respondents confessed having contemplated suicide at least once.

Financial difficulties are the biggest problem reported by 95.3 of participants, followed by social exclusion and alienation expressed by 86.6 percent. The families of 41.6 percent are reportedly shattered.

Among those who were jailed, 49 percent indicated that they were not held in prisons close to their families. Tens of people died in traffic accidents while they were on their way to see their relatives imprisoned hundreds of kilometers away. (

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